Opinion: Norway’s ban on deforestation

Taylor Crumley, Staff Intern

As the trees change colors and go through their annual transition from green and lush to brown and barren, it seems appropriate to draw attention to the problem that has been facing our world since the industrial revolution—deforestation.

According to Live Science, our Earth loses about 18.7 million acres of forest per year, or 27 soccer fields per minute. At this rate of deforestation, all of our tropical rainforests will be gone in the next 100 years. Forests being destroyed also cause native species to be left without a home, facing possible extinction.

Think about that—your grandchildren will never get to experience and see a jungle firsthand. The word “jungle” will be a word of the past, much like the Ice Age. So much of our rainforests are unexplored—plants and species we haven’t even discovered yet are going to be extinct. Exotic animals like monkeys, parrots, sloths and frogs will be wiped out due to our ever-expanding consumerism.

Deforestation is becoming so prominent in our society because of money. A forest does no good to big companies’ wallets unless it is cut down and used for various reasons. Logging, animal grazing, creating various consumer goods and making land for urban expansion, top the list of reasons our forests are being destroyed.

Luckily, people’s voices are being heard and government officials are taking action. Norway recently took a huge stand against the problem of deforestation and banned it completely in their country. As well as banning the physical cutting down of trees, they will also refuse to use or sell any product that was a product of deforestation from now on.

To put the intensity of deforestation into perspective, 90 percent of the United States forests have been cut down since the 1600s. According to Live Science, most of the forests that are still standing are in the Amazon, Russia, Canada and Alaska. For every one person on earth, there are 422 trees according to The Washington Post. That seems like a lot of trees, but with 10 billion trees being lost each year, our earth will be treeless in 300 years unless big changes are made.

The hardest part about protecting our trees is that deforestation happens for so many reasons. It is important that all countries learn from Norway and take a stand against mass deforestation. If action is not taken soon enough, our world will go from beautiful shades of green and blue to a dry barren place, unrecognizable to what we know today.

Trees are our lifeline. They give us the fresh air we breathe, the water we drink and the ecosystem that allows us to survive. Trees regulate our water cycle, air and soil quality. Big businesses need to stop looking at our Earth as an endless supply of resources to be used for mass production.

We aren’t invincible. Our last tree will be cut down. Our last drop of water, polluted. Our last breath, toxic. Norway is standing up for the future of our world, each plant, each animal, each human. Stand up for your future, and the generations that follow.